Friday, January 31, 2014

Today's jewelry was inspired by the Edwardian Era. Beading Daily is having a blog hop featuring Edwardian jewelry. I really enjoyed researching Edwardian jewelry. Before I found beads I costumed dolls and I studied 1800's fashions for many years. If you don't know about the Edwardian era it was when Edward V11 was king in England. He became king in 1901 and died in 1910. The spirit of the Era continued until the start of World War 1. While Victoria, Edward's mother, was conservative. Edward was self-indulgent (he was a playboy with several mistresses), leisured, and enjoyed traveling. He ruled on the cusp of world change with the start of the industrial era. It was a time of understated elegance and noble opulence. Platinum was the metal of choice because improved fabrication techniques made it easier to work with. Diamonds and pearls were the preferred components. Bar pins, filigree broaches, and pearl necklaces were the three top jewelry items to come from this era. Queen Alexandra, Edward's wife, favored ornate diamond chokers. The look was white on white it was light, airy, elegant, feminine, and delicate. Bows, ribbons, and stars were popular motifs. I found this  picture which I believe is  Queen Alexandra while researching and I used it as my inspiration for the pearl choker that I made.

My second piece is a negligee necklace design which was popular in that era. That means two uneven drops suspended from a center element and hung on fine chains. I have had the bow pin in my jewelry box for a long time but I only wore it once so I decided to turn it into a necklace. I like the new look.
My third piece is not finished. It is actually the piece I started first. My plan was to have the brooch wearable as a brooch and also be able to pin it on the pearl choker for another look. Dual use jewelry was common in Edwardian times. Brooches were widely worn during this era. My inspiration for this piece came from my winter 1904 Sears catalog. I scanned the page so you could see it. The piece that inspired me is in the bottom left corner. I found it interesting that Sears had several pages of brooches but no necklaces. I have tried a couple of edge finishes but I didn't get the look I wanted so I am showing it unfinished. The cream colored backing will be cut away for a more open airy look and the sapphire colored glass dots will be bezeled with size 15 matching blue seed beads but I still need and edge.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Focusing on Life: Words

Our focus on life prompt this week is words. In reading other's blogs I discovered that many people choose a word to focus on for the year instead of a  new years resolution that they won't keep. I liked that idea. I was reading on Monday and the blogger was Diana P. from Suburban Girl Studio LLC. Her word for the year is explore. I decided that explore would be a good word for me too. I want to explore further jewelry techniques this year. I also want to explore who I am more this year too. Minnesota tourism uses explore Minnesota on their promotional materials so I decided that a state map would be a good place to find my word photo. To see what the other participants word photos are please click on Sally's link

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Focusing on life:black and white me

The focusing on life prompt this week was to take a self portrait and turn it to black and white. This is the first time I have ever taken a photo of myself. I am very camera shy and when the camera comes out I usually slide into the corner somewhere. I did follow Sally instructions to make the photo black and white. I chose to take the photo in my bedroom. Above the head of my bed I have a wall of pictures of women. Most are in 1800's outfits. The picture nearest to my head is my husbands Grandmother. To see the other participants photos click this link

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Today is the reveal for A Time To Stitch 4. This is a fun hop hosted by Therese Frank of and Christine Altmiller of It is meant to get people stitching. I adore seed bead work so I signed up. The net stitch was required so I will start there.This necklace does not look at all like  I started out thinking I would make. I stitched a netted collar many years ago and I wear it often. I went looking in my old Bead and Button magazines for the pattern I had used. I stumbled on a necklace made with beautiful netted motifs by Marilyn K. Lowe in the August 2004 issue. I stitched three of the motifs. Marilyn had small motifs between her larger ones. I saw pearls instead. I stitched a netted tube and attached the motifs to it.I finished the necklace with some fancy chain that I got at a bead show from Funky Hannah's. I chose a snap clasp. I am pleased with how my necklace turned out. Here is a close up of the work. I can see that I need to color the thread attaching the pearls to the tube, oops.
My stitch of choice was the chenille stitch.
Paula Kramer of gave away some beautiful polymer clay focals. Thank you Paula.
At first I was not drawn to this color combination but the more I looked at it the more I liked it. I bezeled the clay and added fringe. I stitched a chenille stitch rope. When I laid the focal and rope together the proportion was off. The rope was way to skinny for the size of the  focal. So I made another rope. I like the double ropes. I flattened gold bead caps into ovals to finish the ropes and one of the lime green fire polished beads in the center.  I really enjoyed learning the chenille stitch. I am going to make matching earrings with a loop of the chenille stitched rope.I used the colors in the focal to accent the ropes. The clasp is a vintage toggle button. I don't know how old it is but it has been a really long time since four buttons cost ten cents. A loop of the powder blue seed beads finished the other side. I think that I am going to seal the clay so that it's beautiful colors show up better. I hope you like my creations. Please  click on Therese or Christine's link above to see what the others stitched up

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Focusing on Life:Sihlouette

Our Focusing on Life this month is minimalist. This weeks prompt is silhouette. Take a picture into the light and get a silhouette. I chose to use the trees in my front yard. I like them silhouetted against the sunset. The little bit of color adds to the photo for me. Even though it was really cold here I went out several days and took photos. To see the other participants silhouettes please visit Sally's blog at

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Focusing on Life: Minimalist

Welcome to another year of focusing on life. The prompt for this week was minimalist. To me the bottom line is seed beads. This is where it usually starts for me. I really enjoy bead weaving and bead embroidery so my selection of seed beads is usually the beginning of the design process for me. I would be lost without my seed beads. To see what other found to be minimalist please check out our gracious hostess Sally Russick's blog